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A US 7th fleet vessel hit by collision; ten US sailors missing

A US Destroyer part of the all powerful seventh fleet collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore when the US vessel was entering the Singapore port during the early hours of August 19.

Search and rescue operations are under way for 10 US sailors missing after the collision which damaged the port side of the vessel (the left side).

This is the second incident of collision involving an American war ship in the last two months.

Guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of Singapore and near the Straits of Malacca in the early hours, the US Navy said a statement.

"Initial reports indicate John S McCain sustained damage to her port side after the collision," it said. There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured... Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.

The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated." The navy added that the ship was sailing under its own power and heading to Singapore port, on a routine visit.

The rescue operation involves tug boats, a helicopter and a police coast guard vessel. US aircrafts have also been pressed into service to undertake surveillance of the sea and locate the survivors if any.

The collision was reported at 5:24 am (2124 GMT Sunday) while the ship was heading for a routine port visit in Singapore.

The ship involved in the accident is a Liberian-flagged tanker used for transporting oil and chemicals and weighing over 30,000 tonnes.

This is the second incident of ship collision involving a United States naval ship. Seven sailors died when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship in a busy channel in the gateway to container port in the Japanese capital Tokyo two months ago.   

The USS John S McCain is part of the US Seventh Fleet, and its home base is Yokosuka, in Japan.

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